Monday, September 25, 2017

Ilocos Norte takes best booth runner up honors in PH Travel Mart

By Ma. Christian A. Ramos

The Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO), partnering with 12 private business stakeholders, won first runner-up honors for "Best Booth" at the 28th Philippine Travel Mart held September 1-3, 2017.

The travel expo held at the SMX Convention Center in Metro Manila gathers local government units (LGUs) along with hospitality and business establishments to showcase their best packages, promotional deals, and other tourism-related services.

According to Ilocos Norte provincial tourism officer Aian Raquel, Ilocos Norte's participants were "very satisfied with the result of their sales—that’s the best indicator of the success of our presentation because this is a trade show. It is important that we were able to promote our province through the sales of our private counterparts."

The Paoay Convent Ruins, one of the more recently opened tourist attractions in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, inspired the booth’s design. The actual ruins are situated to the left of the San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ohm David, a renowned set director and designer of local and international theatre acts designed the booth. He also designed the Taoid Museum of the Ilocano Cordilleras, which opened in Laoag City in 2015.

At the three-day event, Ilocano small and medium enterprise (SME) also presented their products the INTO presentation. Dubbed "PinakBest," local food items like Ilocano empanada and longganisa, chichacorn, garlic, sukang Iloko (vinegar), and dragonfruit, which were all sold at lower prices.

Other establishments also advertised their services and packages: Aboex Travel and Tours, A&A Express Travel, Hannah's Beach Resort, Ilocos Heritage Tours, Ilocos Norte Convention and Visitors Bureau, Java Hotel, Pangil Beach Resort, Rio Grande Resort, Rivermount Hotel, Travel Ilocandia, Vybe Hotel, and Ziur Inn.

Mr. Raquel shared his hope that more that this year’s event will encourage Ilocano businesses to participate in next year's Travel Mart.

This year's show also highlighted the Visit ASEAN @ 50 Golden Anniversary through cultural events such as a national costume competition, dance competition, and tourism quiz bee.

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